Breastcancer – Early Diagnosis, Symptoms
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BREAST ILLNESSES –
BREAST CANCER PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
Statistics show that cancer is the second most common cause of death; the number of people diagnosed with cancer every year in Germany is around 500,000.
According to cancer statistics, breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death among women.
IMPORTANT – EARLY – DETECTION -DIAGNOSIS THERAPY
The earlier malignancies are detected, the higher the chances are of a complete recovery. And this is something women can do on their own. 80 – 85% of all malignant tumors are discovered by the women themselves. Regular and thorough breast self-exams (in front of a mirror), preferably once a month or a few days after menstruation, can play a huge part in detecting changes to the breasts and thus considerably improve chances of survival.
You should perform regular breast self-exams and every visit to your gynecologist include a breast examination.
There is no prevention for breast cancer but early detection increases the odds of recovery.
IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CHANGES, YOU SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY
- Any lumps you can feel
- Encapsulated thickening of the breast tissue that does not go away after menstruation or after 3-4 weeks.
- Nipples discharge blood or a colored liquid.
- Inflammation, flattening, dimpling or any change in the shape of the skin, the area around the nipple or the nipple itself.
- Bruises or blue marks are visible on the skin of the breast without any ascertainable reason.
- Inflammation of the breast (swelling) etc.
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
If changes in the breast are found, a mammogram (x-ray) is carried out. This x-ray shows the extent of the growth and is followed by an ultrasound exam which helps determine the type of change in the breast.
In addition to a mammogram and ultrasound, any lumps should be operated on or at least samples taken so that the tissue can be analyzed.
If an operation is recommended by your doctor, have it done as soon as possible and don’t put it off unnecessarily. The emotional strain will increase each day and your chance of recovery from a potentially malignant tumor declines. Find out from the operating surgeon what options you have and what the risks of cancer treatment are.
THE FOLLOWING RISK FACTORS ARE SIGNIFICANT AND NEED TO BE CHECKED BY YOUR DOCTOR REGULARLY
- Genetic predisposition – mother or sister has/had breast cancer
- Anamnesis – medical history of cancer
- No children or late first child at late age >35 years
- Menstruation started at an early age 11 years
- Menstruation ended at a late age (menopause) >55 – 57 years
- High blood pressure
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Nicotine abuse
- High fat diet
These risk factors increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer approx. 3-4 times compared to women where none of these factors plays a role.
Because breast cancer is not painful at an an early stage nor are there other problematic symptoms, early detection is the best way to beat it.
Autor: Dr. med. D. Weichert